Need to sum it up?
Andy Firth is widely regarded as one of the most outstanding jazz clarinet players in the world today, having played internationally with some of the finest performers and ensembles in both classical and jazz music. His mastery of the clarinet and saxophone, unrivaled expression of tone and technique, and endless devotion and enthusiasm has earned Andy a reputation as a performer not to be missed! In 2008, Andy performed a “Tribute to the great jazz clarinetists” with jazz clarinet legend Buddy DeFranco as his guest artist at Carnegie Hall. As a composer, Andy has over 500 compositions to his name some of which are full scale classically oriented or chamber music works. In 2000, US mouthpiece maker, Lomax Classic further honored Andy with his own series of clarinet mouthpieces, the “Andy Firth Jazz Series”. Andy received an Australian MO Award for “best live jazz performer” in 2006 and he is the Australian artist for Buffet Crampon clarinets, D’Addario Reeds, Julius Keilwerth saxophones and Lomax Classic Mouthpieces.
An exceptional talent, Andy is equally at ease playing Mozart as swinging like a veteran jazz musician. At the drop of a hat Andy is able to switch to almost any musical style or setting.
- Born in Pt. Augusta, South Australia, March 9th, 1966.
- Current Residence: Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.
- Married, no children but has three cocker spaniels that all enjoy listening to jazz and classical music.
Andy has performed with:
Jazz and blues legends as B.B. King, Buddy DeFranco, Ingrid Jensen, Diana Krall, Wynton Marsalis, Lee Konitz, Steve Haughton, Tommy Banks, Steve Harlos, James Moody, Bud Shank, Don Lusher, Kenny Ball Jazz Band, Acker Bilk, Dutch College Swing Band, North Texas One O’Clock Lab Band, Gary Motley, Paul Keller, Pete Seirs, Jay Hungerford, Ken Kehner, Joe Buerger.
Australian Artists include Maestro Tommy Tycho, Anthony Warlow, Marina Prior, Tommy Emmanuel, George Golla, Ian Date, James Muller, Bob Barnard, Don Burrows, James Morrison, John Morrison, Galapagos Duck, Jackie Love, Rob Guest, Julie Anthony, Kevin Hunt, Daryl Somers, Sarah McKenzie, Graeme Bell, Tom Baker, Ed Wilson, Vince Jones, Jonathan Wade, Emma Pask, Peter Hooper, James Clark, The Society Syncopators, Rob Guest, Mike Nelson, John Foreman, Fiona Burnett and the late great Ricky May and Bobby Limb.
Andy has also performed with Australian and International symphony orchestras and chamber ensembles as soloist.
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from the Critics and the Players
“Andy Firth is the first clarinetist in 30 years or so, since Eddie Daniels, that I have really paid attention to…what he can do on the clarinet, I consider to be impossible! He’s a phenomenon!”
Buddy DeFranco – US jazz clarinet legend
Carnegie Hall 2008
“A genius of the clarinet!”
Maestro Tommy Tycho AM (Australian Music Maestro)
“One of the most amazing clarinettists since Benny Goodman and one of the most gifted of all clarinettists.”
John Denman Clarinet Virtuoso
“Andy Firth is the best! In the years since I first met him he has turned into a frightening clarinettist and, I might add, an excellent arranger…”
George Golla Guitarist Composer & Arranger
“Andy Firth is a joy to hear. He is a virtuoso that goes beyond virtuosity. The joy and enthusiasm in his playing and teaching reminds us all of why art exists, and why as musicians, we wanted to play music in the first place.”
Victor Morosco US Reeds Master and Composer
“Andy Firth is perhaps the finest clarinet player that I have heard…”
Kenny Ball British Jazz Icon
“Andy sent me a cassette of his playing as a lad in Port Augusta. He amazed me then and what he is achieving now I can’t find words for!”
Don Burrows -Australian Jazz Icon
“I have never heard anything like this guy; he is a one in a million! His musicality and playing is totally unique! Andy Firth is, in my opinion, one of our greatest artists and musicians like him pass this way but once. I am thrilled to have met and heard him perform!”
Vincent J. Abato
Revered US reeds virtuoso & teacher August 2006
“Once in a blue moon come along an artist whose talent, musicianship and expertise is awesome. Such a man is Andy Firth, whose reputation as a brilliant performer and educator is Australia wide and acknowledged internationally as well.”
Maestro Tommy Tycho D.Mus, AM